Packing veggies into meals, a pinch at a time
Local students learn from MasterChef judge
Using nutritious vegetable powders in cooking is an innovative way to help combat food waste.
Take it from Singapore-born, Australia-based celebrity chef Audra Morrice, who was a finalist in reality TV cooking series MasterChef Australia in 2012 and a judge on MasterChef Asia in 2015 and MasterChef Singapore last year.
She was in town last month to conduct an interactive cooking masterclass for students from Temasek Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, the Institute of Technical Education and Asian Culinary Institute at Temasek Culinary Academy, as part of Asean Australia Now 2019.
This year, its focus is on engaging and celebrating the vitality, diversity and capability of youth across South-east Asia.
Morrice, 49, told The New Paper: "We don't grow a lot of our own produce here in Singapore. So (I wanted) to share with them some of the innovations we are using in Australia to improve the yield of farmers over there."
At the event, she showcased her use of vegetable powders in two dishes, laksa and dumplings.
The powders are made from vegetables that do not make it to the shelves Down Under and are developed by Australia's national science and research organisation, CSIRO, and Australian horticulture industry body, Hort Innovation, to help reduce food loss on farms, create new revenue streams for farmers and pack extra vegetables into diets.
She said: "When vegetables are harvested, only about 75 per cent make it out to the shops, as a small amount gets damaged in the harvesting process and the other 20 per cent doesn't fit consumer expectations.
"Each tablespoon, which is 7.6g, equates to one serving of vegetables.
"So imagine if you incorporate that into your food, you don't even know you are eating vegetables."
Morrice hopes the masterclass taught students the value of ingredients and about global issues such as food waste.
She said: "When you understand the challenges farmers go through, it allows you to treat ingredients with far more care. Then you will subconsciously want to waste less and find ways to deal with trimmings. And it all starts from the household."